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Premiere Pro: Interface and Navigation Shortcuts

Clay Asbury

Quickly navigate Premiere Pro with these essential shortcuts. Being ‘shortcut savvy’ is the best way to speed up your video editing.

Adobe Premiere Pro

Interface and navigation shortcuts are worth learning, as they will save you a bit of time. Keeping your fingers on the keyboard as much as possible will make you a faster video editor.  In this post, I’ll share a few Premiere Pro shortcuts that optimize my video editing process.

Select Window

There are 9 shortcuts for selecting the various windows in Premiere Pro. Memorize these or make your own shortcuts.

So, say you have a custom layout and you don’t see the Media Browser. Just press Shift + 8 to bring it up, instead of going to the Window Menu.

Toggle Source/Program Monitor Focus

Select the Source or Program monitor with one mouse click. I use a custom shortcut (F2) instead of Shift + 1 or +2, as it is one key and quicker.

I always try to use one key shortcuts for toggles when possible.

You can quickly move to a specific timecode or plus/minus frames using the number pad. This works in the Source Monitor, Program Monitor/Timeline (just make sure you have the desired window selected).

To move a specific number of frames:  type + or – and number of frames on the number pad. To move to a specific timecode: simply type the number on the number pad. For instance, 3 is 3 frames, 3. is 3 seconds. Let me show you how it’s done:

Zoom to Sequence

The shortcut to zoom in and out of your Premiere Pro timeline is /. You can map it for those coming from FCP or Media Composer.

It works as a toggle, so if you are zoomed in and press /, it will zoom out so you can see the whole sequence. Press it again and you zoom back in. Very handy.

Arrow Keys and JKL

Combine the arrow keys with the reverse/stop/play functionality of the JKL keys:

Step Back: Left Arrow

Step Forward: Right Arrow

Step Backward 5 frames: Shift + Left arrow

Step Forward 5 frames: Shift + Right arrow

Go to Previous Edit Point: Up Arrow

Go to Next Edit Point: Down Arrow

If you’re unfamiliar with using the JKL keys for controlling playback see our previous blog post here.

Scroll Wheel and Modifier Keys

Command or Control coupled with the middle scroll wheel works like the Hand Tool (for all of you Photoshop users out there). This is handy when you are zoomed into the timeline and want to see another part of the timeline without zooming out.

Option or Alt combined with the middle scroll wheel zooms in or out (this is the same functionality as using the or = keys).

Marking & Playing Clips

The easiest way to mark clips in Premiere Pro is with a shortcut:

Mark Selection: /

Mark Clip: X

Clear in and Out: Option + X

Play In to Out: Option + K

Play Around: Shift + K Play Around simply plays the area in the timeline around where the playhead is placed. Where it starts playing is determined by the Playback Preference. I set mine to 3 seconds for Preroll & Postroll. It starts 3 seconds before and goes to 3 seconds after the playhead.

Additionally, I generally turn on Looping with Play In to Out or Play Around. This is useful for fine tuning your edits.